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When doctors give patients money

The New York Times, January 31, 2014
A physician recently wrote in JAMA about giving a patient $30 to help pay for a medication after a two-hour phone battle with the insurance company came to naught. He was cited by his institution for unprofessional behavior, but was also deluged with letters from doctors and nurses who have been in the same position and done the same thing. We hear daily about "health care costs," a lumbering behemoth that dominates the news and the economy. But it is the smaller amounts, literally the pocket money, that often has the most profound and palpable effect on the concrete currency of health.